Ratings & Reviews of the
Price House Cottage
"If it rains," Jennifer Price had advised
us, "you're in for a real treat."
That night, somewhere in the far depths of a snug
sleep, pitter-patters were heard in the direction of "up." They quickened and loudened to firm plops. Was Jennifer's notion
guiding the plot of a dream? No. In an instant, without opening
my eyes and coming fully awake, I knew it was the real item: rain
on a tin roof. I smiled and tumbled securely back into the depths.
For my wife Sherie, the queen canopied rice bed
with rain on the roof was only part of the comfort. "My kinda
place," she'd said the evening before, settling by the fire
after a bubble bath. "They have throw rugs to warm your feet!" She also appreciated the extra pillows, blankets and towels - the
first items she looks for. The hosts provide turn-down service,
and Jennifer irons the 300-count cotton bed linens.
It's a gorgeously restored servants' cottage, approximately
as old as the circa-1812 main house - one of the earliest homes
in the part of town locals call "Old Summerville." The
living room (comfortable furniture!) occupies one end, the bedroom
the other, with the bath and full kitchen on either side of the
connecting hall. Open ceilings with high fans in the two main rooms
add to the spacious aura. Guests find all the extras, including
phone and cable TV. Every angle and view is
photogenic, every object carefully placed, from the Old Charleston
and floral prints to Jennifer's flower arrangements to the antique
and reproduction furniture and rugs on the wide, heart pine floors.
Jennifer's husband David bought the house in 1974
and continued the restoration that had been started by a previous
owner. The 800-square-foot cottage, secluded and charming, has won
the Summerville Preservation Society Restoration Award.
During the week, the Prices provide a gourmet continental
breakfast (sa-vory and sweet breads). On weekends, they indulge
in one of their favorite hobbies: cooking. "One of the things
we love to do," David said, "is cook. It's difficult to
get inspired to cook just for yourselves."
"We both like to cook," Jennifer added,
"but we cook differently. He cooks more creatively; I cook
more . . . heavily."
Our meal began with carved cantaloupe topped with
a mix of berries - a work of art - with white cheddar cheese and
thyme biscuits on the side. The main course was baked avocado eggs
with chopped ham, tomatoes, parmesan cheese and sour cream.
They also like to serve pumpkin Belgian waffles
with maple syrup and whipped cream; corn meal Belgian waffles with
smoked salmon and caviar crème fraîche; crème
brulee French toast; basil eggs in a puffed pastry shell; and fried
grits. Their summertime special is baked tomato pie with fresh basil
and Vermont white cheddar cheese.
Jennifer is from Spartanburg and works as an interior
decorator and operating room nurse. David, an ophthalmologist, grew
up in Washington, DC, and came to the Charleston area as an Air
Force doctor. He soon decided that after his service stint, he wanted
two things: to establish his practice in South Carolina and to buy
and renovate an historic house. Friends suggested Summerville. When
his realtor brought him to this home, he asserted, without scrutiny,
that he would buy it.
The idea for opening a B&B came in 1997, while
the Prices were having some work done inside the main house and
occupying the cottage. Having stayed at a number of B&Bs in
America and Europe, they realized their own facility was uniquely
Notable lodgers have included the ambassador from
The Netherlands and a travel photographer who now makes the cottage
her venue when in the area on assignment. The Prices feature special
offers like wine dinner packages in conjunction with The Woodlands
resort (see the article on Summerville, pages 6-11 of this issue)
and comp tickets to one of the area's famous gardens for guests
staying three or more nights.
"We haven't had any people stay here who we
wouldn't want to have back," David observed. "The thing
that's shocked us is that when people leave, they thank us - as
if we'd paid them to stay."
Come here and you'll understand. "This really
is a very comfortable place," Sherie concluded, glancing around
before we left. "It's a retreat - and a treat."